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Something, something, fat Israeli hedgehogs


This little feller was brought into an Israeli animal rescue because he was too fat to run away. He weighed 1.6 kilos when he arrived; he should be 600-900 grams. They’re seeing a lot of this. They think the hedgies are getting into food left out for stray cats.

Stray cats and hedgehogs: two things I don’t really associate with the Holy Land, somehow.

I mean, I knew about African pygmy hedgehogs, which are the breed they make into domestic pets, but I generally thing of hedgies as British, Beatrix Potter-y things.

But no. I am wrong.

Hedgehogs are a food source in many cultures. Hedgehogs were eaten in Ancient Egypt and some recipes of the Late Middle Ages call for hedgehog meat. Hedgehogs are traded throughout Eurasia and Africa for traditional medicine and witchcraft. In the Middle East and especially among Bedouins, hedgehog meat is considered medicinal, and thought to cure rheumatism and arthritis. They are also said to cure a variety of illnesses and disorders from tuberculosis to impotence. In Morocco, inhaling the smoke of the burnt skin or bristles is a purported remedy for fever, male impotence, and urinary illnesses. The blood is sold as a cure for ringworm, cracked skin and warts and the flesh is eaten as a remedy for witchcraft. Romani people still eat hedgehogs, boiled or roasted, and also use the blood and the fat for its supposed medicinal value. During the 1980s, “hedgehog-flavour” crisps were introduced in Britain, although the product did not contain any hedgehog.


January 4, 2018 — 10:02 pm
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